Inpex moves forward with its clean hydrogen/ammonia project in Japan

Japan’s energy company Inpex Corporation has announced the beginning of construction of surface plant facilities of the Kashiwazaki clean hydrogen/ammonia project to be implemented at its Higashi-Kashiwazaki gas field in the Hirai district of Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

According to Inpex, the project is the first in Japan to build an integrated hydrogen and ammonia value chain from production to usage.

The company informed that the natural gas produced in Niigata Prefecture will be used as a raw material to produce hydrogen and ammonia, and the CO2 generated during the production process will be separated, pressurized and injected in the Higashi-Kashiwazaki gas field reservoir.

Blue hydrogen produced in this demonstration test will be converted into electricity through a hydrogen power generation system and supplied to end users in Niigata Prefecture, Inpex further said, noting that some of the blue hydrogen will be used to produce blue ammonia with the aim of supplying it for fertilizer use to consumers also in Niigata Prefecture.

The surface plant facilities are expected to have an annual production scale of 700 tons, infrastructure to separate and capture CO2 generated during hydrogen production, CO2 subsurface injection infrastructure and facilities to produce, store and ship ammonia.

The hydrogen production facility will use Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions’ ATR (autothermal reforming) technology, said to be able to reduce the energy required to separate CO2 during hydrogen production, and the CO2 separation/capture facility will adopt a high-pressure regenerative CO2 capture technology HiPACT by JGC Global/BASF. The ammonia production facility is set to adopt the technology of Tsubame BHB, which is expected to synthesize ammonia at low temperature and low pressure by adopting a unique catalyst.

Daiichi Jitsugyo will handle the design, equipment procurement, construction work (EPC), and commissioning services related to these facilities, while JGC Corporation will construct hydrogen production equipment, CO2 separation/recovery equipment, underground injection equipment and other equipment.


Inpex said that the commissioning of the surface plant facilities will begin in March 2025, with the aim of completing construction in August 2025.

The project’s hydrogen and ammonia production and CO2 recovery will be subsidized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as an initiative for “Technology development for the utilization and production of ammonia as fuel / Technology development for blue ammonia production.”

In addition, Inpex informed it will conduct joint research with Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) on the evaluation and implementation of subsurface storage of CO2 as part of the “Demonstration test on identifying possible CO2 storage solutions utilizing domestic depleted oil and gas fields.”

Through the project, Inpex said it will contribute to enhancing Japan’s energy security by realizing clean energy production from domestic gas, and in addition, it will use its findings from the project to build a blue hydrogen production plant in Niigata Prefecture utilizing its natural gas field and existing infrastructure, aiming for commercialization by around 2030.

The company also noted it will continue to study opportunities for blue hydrogen/ammonia and CCS/CCUS projects internationally, leveraging the knowledge and experience gained from this project.

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